Novavax Combination Vaccine Shows Positive Preclinical Results

NanoFlu/NVX-CoV2373 elicited functional influenza and COVID-19 antibodies in ferrets 2 weeks after vaccination.

On Monday, the biotechnology company Novavax announced that its combination quadrivalent seasonal flu vaccine and COVID-19 vaccine candidate, NanoFlu/NVX-CoV2373, has demonstrated a positive immune response to both influenza and SARS-CoV-2 in a pre-print of a manuscript.

The manuscript is titled “Combination Respiratory Vaccine Containing Recombinant SARS-CoV-2 Spike and Quadrivalent Seasonal Influenza Hemagglutinin Nanoparticles with Matrix-M™ Adjuvant”.

"Despite low rates during the COVID-19 pandemic, influenza remains a significant risk to global public health and the need for versatile, more effective vaccines is as important as ever, including against the flu,” Gregory M. Glenn, President of Research and Development at Novavax said. "We believe that this novel combination vaccine candidate, which leverages Novavax' technology platform and Matrix-M™ adjuvant, could be an important future tool in the long-term fight against both of these harmful respiratory viruses."

The preclinical study demonstrated that ferrets who received the combination NanoFlu/NVX-CoV2373 vaccine had induced functional influenza and COVID antibodies. Antibody titer levels were shown to be elevated 2 weeks following 1 dose, and were seen to increase further following a second dose 2 weeks later.

After immunization, hamsters were challenged with SARS-CoV-2. An examination of the upper and lower respiratory tract showed that there was little to no virus detected 4 days after a COVID-19 infection.

Additionally, the lungs of the animals who received the combination vaccine showed no remarkable findings.

"Seasonal influenza and COVID-19 combination vaccines will likely be critical to combating emerging COVID-19 variants," Russell Wilson, Executive Vice President and NanoFlu General Manager at Novavax said. "Millions of people are affected by influenza each year in the U.S., and despite our vaccination efforts, currently available flu vaccines are only partially effective. Our NanoFlu vaccine Phase 3 clinical trial achieved all of its primary endpoints, and we expect this combination vaccine will help control both COVID-19 and influenza illness."